Cooling Off Techniques for Horses at Competition

I was prompted to write a series of articles on the correct strapping of the horse after attending competitions and witnessing competitors strapping their horses in very unusual ways! After speaking to some of these people, I have come to realise that riders have not been specifically taught how to strap their horse. ...continue reading

There is a lot of information kicking around the internet at the moment relating to stomach ulcers in horses.  It is not a matter of if a horse has ulcers - it is more likely that sometime in your horses life they will suffer from them.

A horse cannot get rid of ulcers on their own especially in the conditions that we keep them in. They do not have the luxury of roaming large distances and choosing which type of food they eat.  We keep them in controlled environments.  If they are on pasture it consists of only a small range of grasses and sometimes no access to trees or roots or even quality soil to chomp on when they feel something lacking in their diet.  These are the behaviors of wild horses that know what to eat for medicine or de-worming etc.  If they are hard fed it will usually consist of some hay - and regardless of the type of hay you feed, the nutrients that can be found in this ...continue reading

 A program for your horse's overall health

Horse health
Horse health

I am often asked by my client's what is a good program to put their horse's on for their entire health.  For the most part this can be a tricky question to answer but I will put my thoughts out there for you all.  You do not always have to agree with me and I would love to hear your individual thoughts on the matter:

Most horse owner's know that they must have a worming program, feet program and teeth program but it will vary for each individual horse and their own needs, the same as it does for humans.

As people we are reminded by our dentist to visit every 6 or 12 months, but if you wear braces that might be more like a 6 - 8 week cycle!  We are told to brush our teeth each day morning and night and again this is a variable factor for each individual!  As a human we know when we Continue reading

If you've been following along with my Blogs, I have started going through the 11 systems of the horse.  This blog is about the all important muscular system

Firstly, what is the muscular system made up of?

Around 60% of a horse's total body weight is made of muscles and tendons!  The muscular system is made up of muscles, fascia and tendons.  The muscle are comprised of about 70% water and the other 30% is made up of fibres and nerves.  Muscles can also stretch up to 90% and the tendons about 10% and these contracting and releasing create the movement of the skeleton and therefore the movement of the horse.  The muscles are connected to the skeletal system by the tendons.

What kind of injuries can muscles incur?
Muscles can suffer from overuse, overstretch and then tear or incorrect work preparation.  Poor nutrition, poor conformation or a structural imbalance can cause injuries to muscles.  They can also suffer from a blow out.

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The 1st system I listed in the Blog 'What Are the 11 Systems of the Horse' was the integumentary system - or the skin, hair and hooves.  In this issue I would like to discuss this system further.  I will explain what it is, what it does and how it relates to massage.

Firstly; what is the integumentary system comprised of?
Horse Hair
The skin is made of 3 basic layers.  The hypodermis, which is the innermost layer, the dermis and the epidermis.  The hair and hooves are also part of this system.

The hypodermis is made up of connective tissue that allows the skin to glide over the muscles.  It is a cushioning layer between the muscles and the skin.  There are large blood vessels that supply the skin in this layer.  The dermis and the hypodermis also contain nerve endings.

The dermis is the thick layer containing nerve ends, hair follicles, sebaceous (oil) and sweat glands, blood and lymphatic vessels.  It is attached to the hypodermis by collagen fibres that give the skin elasticity. ...continue reading

Many horse owner's include lucerne either in the form of hay or chaff in their horse's everyday diets.   The reason they feed it is usually because the horse likes it and it is what they have been taught is a good feedstuff for horses.  It provides good roughage and bulk for their horse's and also smells nice and sweet.  That is because it is sweet!  It is loaded with sugars and great to help provide your horse with extra warmth and energy.  Lucerne is also high in protein and calcium.  It is useful to feed it at a competition where your horse is using a lot of energy and needs the extra usable fuel.  Examples of this would be at endurance rides, polocrosse or any other high energy burning horse sport.  It is also useful to help growing youngsters that need to put extra fuel into correct growth.  Does this make lucerne a suitable every day feed? ...continue reading

The Oxford Dictionary provides the meaning of massage to be:

The rubbing and kneading of muscles and joints of the body with the hands, especially to relieve tension or pain:

The Oxford Dictionary also provides the meaning of remedial to be:

Giving or intended as a remedy or cure:

So interpreted: An Equine Remedial Massage Therapist - otherwise known as an Equine Myofunctional Therapist (translated from Latin to English as Horse Muscle Function Therapist) is ...continue reading